garden trellis from old swing frame

Old swing frame is repurposed as a trellis for cucumbers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Phyllis Lobbins, a Master Gardener from Cheektowaga, had a swing frame that might have gone out to trash, but she came up with a great use for it: She made it into a trellis for her cucumbers and squash. “I used regular garden twine because that was all I had on hand at the time,” Lobbins said, “but I would prefer using nylon string, or something that would not break down as quickly as twine. “I…

Morticia corpse flower may be flower or leaf

Corpse flowers in spotlight for unusual leaves, possible bloom

We don’t when it could happen, or even if it will happen, but it looks like another stinky corpse flower might bloom in the next several weeks at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Morticia, the plant that might produce a flower, is on display now. What might be even more interesting is that Fester, another Amorphophallus titanium, has produced an unusual set of five leaves. Fester is also on display. Hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily and  10 a.m-9…

David Clark teaching class at Buffalo Botanical Gardens courtesy David Clark

Horticulture classes start in September; sign up now

You can sign up now to save your spot in the horticulture classes to be held at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The classes will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays in the Administration Building at the Botanical Gardens. You can sign up for an entire series or just one class at a time. You don’t have to take the classes in order. If you complete all the classes in a…

urn with plants at Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House

Bring the outdoors in: ideas from Wright’s Martin House

by Connie Oswald Stofko Bringing nature indoors was an aim of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famed architect who designed the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo. Wright wanted the Martin family to be able to enjoy nature even when they were inside. Rather than being an afterthought, the landscape was an integral part of the architectural design. That landscape, designed more than 100 years ago, has now been brought back to life. “We tried to re-create what had been here by…

lily pads protect fish in pond from heron

Protect fish in ponds from heron, plus final 2019 garden walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko The pond in the photo the may look overgrown, but all that foliage serves a purpose: It stops herons from eating fish in the pond. In this article, you can also find details on the last garden walk for 2019: the Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk in Niagara Falls. Stop herons from eating your fish Marcia Panzarella shared her Camden Ave. landscape last week during the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens. She has a pond,…

closeup of basket of tomatoes and cucumbers in Amherst NY

Share your extra harvest

Is your zucchini going wild? Did you plant more peppers than you can use? Do you have so much garlic you are no longer afraid of vampires? Share your extra harvest with people who will appreciate it. Groups such as Friends of Night People are happy to get fresh, nutritious food to share with the working poor and others who need a little help. Do you know of a food bank or soup kitchen that is looking for fresh food from home…

chives in flower in Amherst NY

Which herbs bolt, which herbs flower and why it makes a difference

by Connie Oswald Stofko What is bolting versus flowering? In both cases, the plant produces a flower. Flowering occurs as a natural part of the plant’s life and generally doesn’t affect the taste of leaves. Bolting occurs when a plant is stressed, often because the temperatures got too warm for that plant’s liking. The plant wants to reproduce before it dies, so it sends up a flower that will go to seed. Bolting diverts resources away from the leaves, which…

large vegetable garden on East Side of Buffalo

Tip on watering, plus this weekend’s garden walk

I got this great tip when I visited a garden on the East Side Garden Walk on July 20. Garden walk season isn’t over yet. There’s the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens this weekend and the Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk coming up on Aug. 10. Make sure you water the roots The vegetable garden at 261 Maple St. is huge and it takes two days to water, said David Lewis. Lewis maintains the garden for his relative, Cecil…

symptoms of late blight on tomatoes

Late blight spotted nearby; report it if you see it on your tomatoes

Late blight, a devastating disease of tomatoes and potatoes, has been detected in northern Pennsylvania (Erie County, Pennsylvania). If you see it on your plants, please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension in your county. Late blight is best known for causing the Irish Potato Famine and can kill plants in just one week, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County. It is caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads dozens of miles on storm fronts, so it could come to your…

play area in small Buffalo yard

Landscape makes a comeback after fire

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You rebuild, and rebuild better,” said Krista Palgutt, whose landscape was damaged when their neighbor’s garage burned down. The back of the Palgutts’ house was charred. The patio, which they had just installed the previous year, had to be redone because the plastic furniture melted onto the patio. “But all the perennials came back,” Palgutt said, “except for the old growth hydrangeas.” No one was hurt in the fire, and I saw how their landscape made…

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